UN Palestinian agency faces ‘existential crisis’

By AFP – Feb 10,2018 – JORDAN TIMES

UNITED NATIONS, United States — One month after the Trump administration announced a drastic funding cut to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, only one country, Kuwait, has stepped forward to offer additional funding, senior UNRWA officials said on Friday.

The United States announced in January that it would give $60 million to UNRWA — a fraction of the more than $350 million annual contribution that it has previously provided to the agency’s budget.

Kuwait stepped in to contribute $900,000 and about 15 donor countries, including Sweden and Japan, decided to speed up their donations to keep UNRWA afloat, said UNRWA’s representative in New York Peter Mulrean.

But Mulrean told reporters at UN headquarters that the agency was facing an “existential financial crisis” as it seeks to fill the gap from the US funding cut.

The United States is the biggest single donor to UNRWA, which provides schools and health clinics to 5.3 million refugees in the Palestinian territories, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.

Last month, US Ambassador Nikki Haley said the United States would not provide aid to the Palestinians until they agree “to come back to the negotiation table” and reach a peace deal with Israel.

“The US has not yet explained to us the rationale behind its decision on the $60 million,” Mulrean said, adding that Washington had not presented any concerns about reforms.

In an interview to Voice of America, Haley said UNRWA needed to be reformed, because they consider “any Palestinian as a refugee” and “what they’re teaching in schools is not necessarily the right way to have things run”.

UNRWA has been repeatedly accused of promoting anti-Israel sentiment in schools, a charge it has flatly rejected.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres will attend a ministerial-level donors’ conference for UNRWA to be held next month in Geneva to fill the gap in funding, but it remains unclear if the United States will attend.

UNRWA’s director for the West Bank, Scott Anderson, said all of the agency’s services remain up and running for the time being, but that the decision had left many Palestinians anxious.

“People are frightened and concerned about what this means for them, their families and their future,” he said.

SOURCE:   http://jordantimes.com/news/region/un-palestinian-agency-faces-existential-crisis%E2%80%99

8 replies

  1. We need to think a bit deeper on this subject: First of all the US has been paying what Israel should have paid. According to International Law the occupying power is responsible for the civilian population in occupied territories, and their facilities such as schools and hospitals.

    That said I think it is not wrong to ‘re-value’ the whole idea of UNWRA, especially in neighboring countries. Palestinians born in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria etc. should have full citizenship in those countries. It is not appropriate to deny them that. If they were / are born in US they have full US citizenship, for instance. This would also mean that they would no longer be the ‘caseload’ of UNWRA. These are just some thoughts. The regional countries, Arab League, should take up this question.

    • Rafiq wrote: especially in neighboring countries. Palestinians born in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria etc. should have full citizenship in those countries. It is not appropriate to deny them that. If they were / are born in US they have full US citizenship, for instance. This would also mean that they would no longer be the ‘caseload’ of UNWRA. ==

      I agree with you Rafiq. It is a good solution for Palestine, and the world.

      ❤️

      • we have to understand why this did not yet happen: The Palestinians wanted to insist on their ‘right of return’. But they could still claim the ‘right of return’, even if they have full citizenship in their countries of residence. The present situation is just not acceptable. (For instance a Syrian could enter Lebanon without a visa, but a Palestinian who resided in Syria needed a visa for Lebanon. silly ….)

  2. I agree 100 percent Rafiq
    That what happen with Jews for thousand years ad refugee in other countries, thay cound not win to fight Emperium Romayi and Turkey, They waited until a good time to come back to their own land Israel.

    Palestine can do the same, Palestine cannot win the battle with Israel. They tried many times, but failed.
    Maybe after hundred years Palestine can come back when Palestine become stronger thah Jews.

    Now do not waste your life, energy and time
    All love❤️

  3. ==The United States is the biggest single donor to UNRWA, which provides schools and health clinics to 5.3 million refugees in the Palestinian territories, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.==

    America is the biggest donor on earth. Very generous people. Unfortunately Palestine did not know how to appreciate it.
    From now, you reap what you sow.
    All love❤️

    • As explained, the USA ‘picked up the tap’ of what Israel must pay in accordance to international law. – Biggest donor? Not only since Trump, since ever: there are always ‘strings attached’. In other words the USA ‘bought’ ‘friends’ or ‘bribed friends’.

      • Ahaaa —- USA bought—friends or bribe friends”
        Rafiq is a negative thinking —-
        It is much better positive thinking Rafiq.
        ❤️

      • In 1963 I had the occasion of being with Sir Mohammad Zafrullah Khan for one week in New York. At that time he had a lecture and during that lecture when talking about ‘foreign aid’ he said: ‘You know that there are strings attached, we know that there are strings attached, so why not just openly say it?’

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